Our body needs protein, carbohydrates and fat to function properly. We are talking about the good fats which help in the formation of cells, production of energy, clotting of blood, transport of oxygen and the generation of prostaglandins (hormone-resembling substances).
Healthy fats are the unsaturated ones which we can get from various foods, such as vegetables and fruits. Unsaturated fats are taken from animal food sources. Bad fats stick to the blood vessels and lead to deadly medical conditions such as coronary heart disease, atherosclerosis, diabetes or stroke.
If you are wondering which foods contain healthy fats, here is a list that can help you have a healthy and nutritious diet.
- Olive Oil
Olive oil contains fatty acids, potent antioxidants, and Vitamins K and E. Extra virgin olive oil is a powerful coagulant and anti-inflammatory factor, which protects the bad cholesterol in the body from being oxidized. Olive oil enhances cholesterol markers and decreases high blood pressure.
- Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate contains 9 grams of fat and 150 calories. This means that you only need 28 grams of 60-70% dark chocolate in your diet. This type of chocolate is also packed with minerals (potassium, iron, and calcium), vitamins (A, B, E) and theobromine (a powerful antioxidant).
One egg contains 212 mg of cholesterol, which is more than 70% of the recommended daily intake. This makes many nutritionists consider eggs as being unhealthy, but new studies have shown that this type of cholesterol has no impact on the cholesterol in the blood. Eggs contain healthy fats, minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and are a great protein source.
Fish, such as mackerel, salmon, herring, sardines and trout are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and high-quality proteins. All these contribute to the health of the blood vessels and the heart, as well as the repair and growth of cells and tissues. By consuming fish, you reduce the risk of developing depression, dementia, and heart disease among others.
Scientists have discovered that 20 grams of almonds contain 160 calories, 14 grams of unsaturated fats and 6 grams of protein. Almonds also provide the body with minerals (magnesium and phosphorus), dietary fibers and Vitamin E. These nuts also contain kaempferol, quercentin, and phytochemicals which reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. Other nuts containing good fats are peanuts, hazelnuts, pecans, macadamia nuts and cashews.
One avocado is packed with 75% fat, offering a person 8% of the recommended daily fiber intake, plus multiple nutrients.
Fats play a vital role in the optimum functioning of the human body, just like proteins and carbohydrates. They offer the energy we need and regulate various physiological processes in cells and tissues. So if you have been avoiding foods rich in fats to keep your weight under control, now it would be a good time to reconsider your decision. On the contrary, healthy fats can control weight gain, while they also help manage your mood, fight fatigue and stay on top of your mental game.